Jake Gyllenhaal's career has been marked by strange choices - but they've always worked out for him.

With the exception of 'Prince of Persia', Gyllenhaal's maintained critical credibility and an appeal with audiences. His full-on performance in 'Nightcrawler' shows he's showing no signs of letting up.

Here's his five best roles.


5. ZODIAC - Robert Graysmith

'Zodiac' is considered to be one of David Fincher's lesser films, however it's an intriguing glimpse into the world of obsession and how it can destroy a life. Gyllenhaal plays Robert Graysmith, an unassuming cartoonist who becomes obsessed with the hunt for the infamous Zodiac Killer in 1970's San Francisco. Instead of taking the obvious route and turning the cartoonist into an action hero, Gyllenhaal's performance is nuanced and balanced - but with an edge of desperation beneath the surface.


4. END OF WATCH - Officer Brian Taylor

The idea of using handheld footage in films is nothing new, but 'End of Watch' changed it up and brought it from its horror origins into crime. Paired with Michael Pena, Gyllenhaal plays Taylor, a rookie LAPD officer who's filming his day. Of course, it's unlike any other day. Gyllenhaal's performance is natural, unhinged and pulsating. As well as the clever direction by David Ayer, it feels like you're in the "trenches" with them.


3. JARHEAD - Pvt. Swofford

Sam Mendes' razor-sharp anti-war satire sees Gyllenhaal dropped into the midde of the Gulf War. Playing a wet-behind-the-ears soldier, he slowly becomes more cynical and more hardened by the experiences around him. Often humorous and violent in equal measure, 'Jarhead' is one of the finest war films of the last ten years.



'Brokeback Mountain''s compelling story of denial and desire swept the boards at the Oscars, winning Ang Lee a Best Director and a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Gyllenhaal's performance as the conflicted cowboy who cannot help who he loves is poignant, emotional and daring.


1. DONNIE DARKO - Donnie Darko

A star-making role for Gyllenhaal, Richard E. Kelly's part-teenage drama, part-thriller, part-horror has gone on to become a cult classic. Gyllenhaal, just 21 when he filmed it, gave a blistering performance as the unhinged teenager who's been visited by a talking, apocalypse-foretelling rabbit.